I kind of wish I could rate this book higher than 5 stars. It is definitely one of the best books I've read all year, maybe in a couple of years. And it's very different from what I usually read. Mostly because it's MG, and I don't think I've read an MG book since grade school. But an online review prompted me to pick it up, and it was fabulous.
Set in 1968/69, I felt like I was walking around in that time period, sweating through a hot summer and freezing through a cold winter with Doug (the narrator). I adored the voice and style of the MC--forthright, frank, and knowing too well that he's telling me about his life, but he doesn't necessarily expect me to believe him. Because no one ever does, and no one has ever told him he's worth anything.
There was a moment near the end of the book, and not even a truly sad moment, that made me start to cry. I think it was the exact moment when both I and Doug realized that maybe things would actually be okay. Not necessarily get better, but be okay.